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You'll find a wide range of Uighur handicrafts on sale at Er Dao Qiao Bazaar, but the environment has recently been turned into a tacky tourist trap. On what used to be on airy outdoor market now stands a Hong Kong developer's interpretation of Uighur architecture, massive beige-brick buildings, complete with a Carrefour and KFC. For more of a local flavor, head to Ribiya Dasha, a building erected by the Uighur businesswoman Rebiya Kadeer who became famous in the Western press after being jailed in China as a political prisoner. Outside, around the perimeters of the building, bright fabrics, televisions, jewelry, and appliances are sold. Also nearby is Baihetiya'er Huangjin Shoushidian at Jiefang Nan Lu 197, which sells affordable gold, silver, and platinum jewelry. The necklaces are particularly elegant. Watch the Uighur women bargain, and see if you can get a similar price.

For carpets, you should avoid Er Dao Qiao Bazaar and its scary assortment of pushy salespeople who don't know the first thing about carpets; instead head behind the market to Tianhaai Lu where several stores have genuine antiques, but prices are high. Those hunting for books on Buddhist art will find an excellent selection of pictorial and theoretical works at Tian Zhi Ya Shushe, in a small lane just east of Xinhua Bookstore, at Jiefang Nan Lu 34 To stock up on snacks before a long bus or train journey, there are plenty of supermarkets around the town center; the one in the basement of the Parkson shopping center at the southern end of Youhao Nan Lu is particularly good, as is the vast and always busy Carrefour at Er Dao Qiao Bazaar.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.